“Six decades of the Mumbai mafia” reads the tagline of S.Hussain Zaidi’s newly released book “Dongri to Dubai”. The author certainly lives up to the expectations raised by the tagline and churns out what can only be termed as a masterpiece and is a must read for fans of especially the crime genre. The fact that Zaidi has covered Mumbai crime history right from Haji Mastan to Dawood Ibrahim just goes to show the amount of research behind the writing of this book and full credit must go to the author for his immense dedication towards this book.
The book basically has a very simplistic plot and begins at the very start when crime in Mumbai first began i.e. period post independence. So the story begins with the rise of Mumbai’s first big gangster Haji Mastan and his meteoric rise from a boy from Tamil Nadu to become one of the first influential gangsters in the city. The book then takes you through the rise of other influential gangster of that era such as Vardarajan Mudaliar, Karim Lala etc. The plot then slowly and steadily focuses on the rise of the most dreaded gangster the world has ever known also officially recognized by the FBI as the most wanted a man who answers by the name of Dawood Ibrahim. The author then goes to describe how Dawood a small time smuggler went to become a certified terrorist. This journey of Dawood is described with a lot intricate details by Zaidi and includes fascinating characters like Chotta Rajan, Chotta Shakeel, Abu Salem etc making the book a real gripping and fascinating read.
The most important feature about this book is that the language used is very simple like all Zaidi’s other books eg Black Friday which enables the reader to really engage with the plot and the characters like fish taking to water. Also the fact that the author Zaidi is a crime journalist of repute for many years now makes the research behind the book really authentic which in turn makes the plot authentic as well as gripping a lethal “cocktail” for any reader worth his/her salt. This book according to me also represents the author Hussain Zaidi best work till date surpassing his previous best Black Friday by miles so definitely a must read.
Overall this book is an example of crime writing at its very best from an author who is by the day becoming a master in this particular genre. With yet another book released of Zaidi Hussain one can only hope that the best is yet to come from this master of crime stories.
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